If you want to extend your already profitable product, the first step is to have your website localized. A good website localization process is essential for unlocking your website’s potential and extending your commercial chances.
Your company’s website is frequently your first chance to make a positive first impression on new worldwide audiences. You can ensure that your message resonates with prospective new clients and that your organization is set up to accomplish its globalization goals by following some essential website localization tips.
It can be challenging to navigate the complexities of website translation, but the correct tactics can lead to improved engagement, brand loyalty, and revenue. This article will go through some pointers for successfully localizing your website.
The Challenges and Advantages of Website Localization
When preparing a website for localization, businesses or organizations confront various obstacles.
Because of the collaboration between the development side and translation services for your websites, website localization is a hard process for businesses to embrace.
Website localization entails more than merely translating text. It entails adapting your entire website for a different location by converting graphics, tone, visuals, videos, currency units, and other elements to account for cultural and regional differences.
Localizing your website results in culturally relevant and engaging content that provides your target website users with an intuitive online browsing experience. The issues of translation, design, functionality, SEO, and cultural compatibility must be addressed.
After all, research has shown that effective website localization may increase search traffic by 47% and conversion rates by 20%.
If you’re considering localizing your company’s website, hire trustworthy website localization services to handle everything.
8 Professional Recommendations for Successful Website Localization
When done correctly, website localization can produce tangible effects for your company. Here are some pointers to consider while localizing your website:
1. Ensure That Your Website is Ready for Localization
Choosing the correct content management system (CMS) is the first step toward a seamless website localization experience. Because team members from different markets will most likely need to use the CMS, ensure the interface is simple and straightforward.
Following that, you’ll want to remove any potential barriers to translation and localization from your site, a process called “internationalization.” This includes ensuring your website’s technology is adaptable to diverse character sets, date and time formats, and currencies. Before commencing your localization campaign, ensure your website can accommodate multilingual material. This will help to create a more seamless process.
2. When Possible, Keep Text and Graphics Separate
Because embedded text in an image cannot be easily distinguished, localizing is difficult. Consider utilizing a layer of translatable text for images instead, such as CSS. This results in a more consistent translation experience.
3. Avoid Using Hard-coded time, Currency, and Date Formats
Time and date formats, as well as currency, vary greatly between countries. If these formats are hard coded, management can become extremely difficult. Consider reducing complexity by adopting defined formats such as ISO, epoch time, or UTC. Additional libraries will automatically format dates and times for each geography, such as Date.js and Moment.js.
4. Check for Corrupted or Missing Characters in Your Localized Text
Suppose you see garbled characters in your localized text, such as question mark symbols regularly placed within words where they don’t belong. In that case, this usually indicates that the target language’s character set was not supported.
You can avoid these issues by using the proper encoding to handle these special characters. Unicode is widely accepted as the industry standard since it can represent over 1.1 million different characters and uses more bits per character than ASCII.
5. Take Into Account Variations in Linguistic Orientation and Duration
Some languages, such as French and German, may require more space than English, while others, such as Chinese or Korean, may require less. The last thing you want is for localized website content to be truncated or not fit within your site’s design. Your website must be created to allow for different languages and language orientations (for example, languages that can be read right to left or top to bottom versus left to right).
6. Check That Your Database Schema Can Handle International Versions
If your website relies on a database for multiple functions, it’s critical to consider localization when designing the database. Database columns can be designed so that multi-language variants are not displayed. To assist with website translation, ensure your database schema is adaptable enough to handle multilingual material.
7. Take Into Account Differences in How Names are Constructed and Ordered
Many different name standards are utilized in various countries around the world. Personal name + middle name + family name is the most common construction in English-speaking cultures; however, in other cultures, a person’s full name may include their mother’s family name, father’s family name, father’s name, grandfather’s name, a patronymic (name derived from the father’s name), an honorific title, or a religious name.
Names are also structured differently in different cultures. For example, in Korean names, the family name comes first, followed by the personal name.
When developing databases for your company’s website, keeping this intricacy in mind is critical. To account for the wide range of naming practices, consider utilizing a single field for “Full Name.” This prevents personal names from appearing in the family name box and vice versa.
8. Make it as Simple and Intuitive for Users to Switch Languages on Your Website as Possible
A pleasant user experience makes visitors feel at ease and encourages them to spend more time on your website. Many people speak more than one language fluently, so make it clear how to switch languages by placing the language picker in a prominent place on your website.
It is also critical to develop a consistent experience in the chosen language. Don’t change a user’s language without their permission. If your site has content that isn’t available in a user’s preferred language, notify them when they click on the link and let them decide whether or not to continue.
Website localization is a complex but rewarding activity that opens up new opportunities for organizations looking to develop globally. Businesses and organizations can bridge the cultural gap, increase participation, and create new opportunities in the global marketplace by using cultural adaptation concepts and best practices in website localization. Finally, website localization entails more than just learning the language; it entails understanding culture and communicating with people on a human level.
Accept the diversity of the digital world, and your website will become a bridge connecting you with clients worldwide, propelling growth and international renown.